For Immediate Release
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch Demand Release of Activists and Journalists Detained in Egypt
LONDON - The Egyptian authorities should
immediately reveal the whereabouts of Egyptian and international human
rights activists, lawyers and journalists arrested during a raid on the
Hisham Mubarak Law Center in Cairo on the afternoon of February 3, Amnesty
International and Human Rights Watch said today.
The two organizations demanded the immediate release of all those detained,
including their staff. In a separate incident Thursday afternoon, three
members of the Egyptian Centre for Housing Rights were also arrested and
taken from the building and now remain missing.
Among more than 30 arrested, those detained include: Daniel Williams, a
Human Rights Watch researcher; Said Haddadi, an Amnesty International researcher
and a female colleague; Ahmed Seif Al Islam, the former director of the
Hisham Mubarak Law Center; a French and a Portuguese journalist; and at
least nine other lawyers associated with the Hisham Mubarak Law Center
or volunteers from the Front to Defend Egypt’s Protesters.
Eyewitnesses outside the building where the
detainees were arrested said they were taken away with a military escort.
Local colleagues of the arrested Egyptian lawyers believe that the group
is being detained by the military police at Camp 75, a military camp located
in Manshiyet el-Bakri, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Cairo. When lawyers
went to Camp 75 and requested access to their detained colleagues, the
army officials refused to confirm that they had any of the missing in detention.
The Egyptian authorities have also not provided foreign embassies with
any information about where the detainees are being kept, or provided a
reason for their arrest.
“At a time when serious human rights abuses are taking place in Egypt,
the raid on the offices of the Hisham Mubarak Center and detention our
colleagues is deeply disturbing,” said Ken Roth, Executive Director of
Human Rights Watch. “But it is totally unacceptable that they have given
us no information about their whereabouts. The authorities must urgently
clarify where they are holding our researcher and other colleagues and
they should release all of them now.”
“Holding human rights activists is completely unacceptable and is indicative
of an increasing clampdown on freedom of expression in Egypt.” said Salil
Shetty, Secretary-General of Amnesty International. “We hold the Egyptian
authorities responsible for the safety of all those in detention including
our staff and call for their safe and immediate release.”